24.09.2021 | Psychiatrics • Original Article
Sleep health mediates the relationship between physical activity and depression symptoms
William T. Barham, Daniel J. Buysse, Christopher E. Kline, Andrew G. Kubala, Ryan C. Brindle
Sleep and Breathing
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This study aimed to investigate cross-sectional associations between physical activity, sleep health, and depression symptoms using mediation models.
Participants (N = 1576, MAge = 39.3 years, 40% female) were recruited online from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowd-sourcing service. Physical activity was measured using a single-item self-report measure and depression symptoms were reported using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Sleep health was measured using the 6-question RUSATED Sleep Health survey V2.0.
Good sleep health (direct effect: β = − .273, t = − 13.87, p < .0001) and high levels of physical activity (direct effect: β = − .092, t = − 4.73, p < .0001) were both individually associated with fewer depression symptoms. Sleep health significantly mediated 19% of the association between physical activity and depression symptoms (indirect effect: β = − .022, 95% CI [− .036 to − .008]), while physical activity significantly mediated 3% of the relationship between sleep health and depression symptoms (indirect effect: β = − .008, 95% CI [− .014 to − .003]).
Physical activity and sleep health act as predictors and mediators of depression symptoms.